The live-action adaptation of The Powerpuff Girls has hit another snag this week by losing one of its three stars: Chloe Bennet. According to a report by Deadline, Bennet has left the production and will no longer be starring as Blossom. Dove Cameron and Yana Perrault are still expected to play Bubbles and Blossom, respectively.
Sources close to the Powerpuff Girls production said that Bennet did not sign a new deal to stay on the project after the first pilot shoot, and scheduling issues are now preventing her from going on. However, the CW apparently plans to go on with the show since the insiders said that the search for a new Blossom would begin next month. The network piqued fans’ interest with the idea of this revival and then confused them back in May with the announcement that the pilot would be “re-worked.”
“The reason we do pilots is sometimes things miss; this was just a miss,” The CW’s Mark Pedowitz said bluntly at the time. “We believe in the cast completely, we believe in Diablo [Cody] and Heather [Regnier], the writers… in this case, the pilot didn’t work.”
The live-action Powerpuff Girls is meant to function as a sequel to the animated series from Cartoon Network. In it, the three child superheroes will be presented as “disillusioned twenty-somethings who resent having lost their childhood to crimefighting.” The original series by creator Craig McCracken had a surreal tone, with sci-fi and fantasy elements left intentionally unexplained.
The live-action take may have struggled to differentiate itself without answering too many of these questions from the original. As Pedowitz put it, the revival “might’ve felt a little too campy,” but he said that it also needs to “do justice to” the original. That sounds like quite a balance to strike.
The original pilot also featured Robyn Lively, Tom Kenny, Donald Faison, and Nicholas Podanny. It is not clear if they are all returning for the do-over or not. It was directed by Maggie Kiley, who seems to be staying on board.
As work on this revival continues, interest in the animated versions is having a resurgence. The Powerpuff Girls is streaming now on Hulu and HBO Max. That includes the original series, which ran from 1998 to 2005, and the animated revival, from 2016 to 2019. So far, Bennet and The CW have not commented publicly on this casting change.